Creating and maintaining efficient routes has long been known to bolster pest management companies and drive more business. Although routing software is now common, radios used to be the cutting-edge technology.
A May 1988 article in Pest Control magazine (Pest Management Professional’s former name), highlighted the advantages of radio communication for routing.
Prompter service, prompter responses — there are the obvious benefits of mobile communications, particularly two-way mobile radio communications.
Even customers more than 30 years ago were expecting faster, more immediate service. According to Gail Crawford from Scott’s Pest Control in Denver, Colo., “A potential customer needs an answer within five minutes. … Most customers want the work done yesterday.”
Another company president said having a radio in each service truck meant better communication, and therefore more business. “We thought we could get another stop a day per person. Actually, we do better than that.”
Have a cell phone? Of course you do. But in 1988, you might have had a pager instead. At that time, pest management professionals were learning it was not hard to justify the cost: “One extra sale or saving one customer each month pays for it. It means you get your calls a little bit faster, and you’re going to close a few more sales.”
But cell phones at that time were still a bit pricey for what they offered, and only a few owners had them in their personal vehicles. As we advised back then, “It’s unlikely pest control or termite technicians generate sufficient revenue to pay for cellular phones, because monthly and per-minute usage costs average between $120-$125 monthly.”